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2021 Nissan Navara revealed: Safer ute here early 2021

Nissan's critical ute is getting another update, with a full suite of active safety features and a tough new look.

Scott Collie
Scott Collie
Deputy Editor

Nissan has given the Navara a safety boost for 2021.

The 2021 Nissan Navara (also known as the 2021 Nissan Frontier) will feature forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, trailer-sway control, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring when it arrives in Australia early next year.

Even base models get AEB and forward collision warning, along with driver-attention monitoring. The full suite is reserved for higher-spec models.

The technology upgrade brings the Navara into line with the Ford Ranger, Toyota HiLux, Isuzu D-Max, Mazda BT-50, and Mitsubishi Triton in offering a suite of active safety features.

Along with the safety boost, the updated Navara gets convenience features such as rain-sensing wipers and power-folding exterior mirrors.

Power in the updated Navara comes from the same 2.3-litre turbo and twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel engines as the current range.

The base engine outputs 120kW of power and 403Nm of torque on single-cab manual modes, while the twin-turbo version offered on the rest of the range produces 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque.

Under the skin, the 2021 Navara features a strengthened rear axle, minor rear suspension tweaks, and a new steering rack compared to its predecessor.

The tub on pickup-bodied models has been made taller, and there’s a new counterweighted tailgate that can be lifted with a single finger.

Inside, the new Navara benefits from a redesigned steering wheel (big win) and a 7.0-inch trip computer display between the instruments.

There’s a new off-road surround-view monitor, and extra USB-C ports scattered throughout the cabin for faster charging.

Nissan has added more sound deadening to the cabin and acoustic glass for a quieter ride at speed, and rear passengers benefit from a new fold-down central armrest with cupholders.

Braked towing capacity is 3500kg, while the payload has been raised to 1200kg on some variants. Final details are being confirmed, but Nissan says four-wheel drive pickup-bodied models will get a meaningful payload increase.

There’s a new look on the outside, inspired by the tough Titan truck sold in the USA. There’s a more prominent grille and light signature up front, and new taillights to set the 2021 Navara apart from the updated 2020 Navara revealed early this year.

There are also quad-LED headlights, a first for the Navara, and a new bumper with an integrated step.

New for 2021 is the Navara Pro-4X, a tough-looking rival to the Toyota HiLux Rogue.

Outside, the Pro-4X has blacked-out exterior detailing and badging, roof racks and running boards, and a set of 17-inch alloy wheels with all-terrain tyres.

There are also red accents scattered around the exterior and a prominent sports bar over the tray.

Launched in 2014, the Navara has been treated to a number of incremental updates to its equipment and mechanicals.

A refresh for 2020 brought a tweaked look and fresh interior technology, after the 2018 Series III brought significant changes to the suspension as Nissan attempted to improve its load-lugging ability.

That followed a Series II version in 2017, itself with a tweaked suspension to address criticism of the car at its launch in 2016.

We expect this facelift will hold the Navara over until 2023 or 2024, when a redesigned model will appear. It’ll share its platform with the next-generation Mitsubishi Triton.

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie

Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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